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The tone of the exhumation, a delicate and reverent event which stretched for 8 hours the first day and into the weekend, was set by the opening ritual, which began with the Archbishop leading the readings and prayers around Julia’s grave. Among the readings was the passage from Paul's letter to the Corinthians: "Listen, I will tell you a mystery ... " which is the Resurrection, when “a trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable …”
So solemn was the occasion that each gravedigger, and each member of the medical examiner's team, was required to swear individually on a Bible that they would honor the process and not reveal the official findings of the exhumation.
The event itself was attended by about 25 people, most connected by the Julia Greeley Guild, which is charged with the responsibility of supporting Julia’s canonization process at the local level. (For all information about Julia’s canonization, go to the Guild’s website, juliagreeley.org.)
Here at the Julia Greeley Home, we are inspired by Julia Greeley as a woman who triumphed over a painful life to do good in the world, and with the help of God, realize her own dignity and independence. Think of it: A poor, disabled 19th century African-American woman, born into slavery, who walked painfully through Denver neighborhoods for decades offering what she could to those poorer than she.
How many times did "Old Julia," as she was called, limp past the Cathedral, hauling her little wagon of clothing and food for the poor?
Now, at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, "Old Julia" will be reburied in the Cathedral, with honors.